Is Your Novel Manuscript Dead On Arrival?

32 Questions | Total Attempts: 7633

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Is Your Novel Manuscript Dead On Arrival?

Measuring a person’s degree of awesomeness is no easy task as we are all awesome in our own way. Do you consider yourself to be shining in pure awesomeness or have people said you are awesome? If so, then all you have to do is take up the quiz and see if we agree with your view for yourself. Have fun!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Does your story have more than two point-of-view characters?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 2. 
    In your story, do you ever describe how a character looks by having him glance at his own reflection?  (This usually involves a mirror, a puddle or a weapon). 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 3. 
    • A. 

      His green eyes.

    • B. 

      His brown hair.

    • C. 

      Both of the above.

    • D. 

      None of the above.

  • 4. 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 5. 
    Are any of your characters secretly family members?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      I haven't decided yet.

    • C. 

      No.

  • 6. 
    By the end of page three, do we know what the main character's name is? 
    • A. 

      No. I don't introduce the main character in the first three pages.

    • B. 

      No. I only refer to the character as something like "the detective" or "the knight." I'll surprise readers by revealing the character's name.

    • C. 

      Yes.

  • 7. 
    Each of your characters should have at least one interesting trait.  Do you consider attractive, strong, weak, young, old, brave, magical or Elven to be interesting character traits?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      "But magical elves are interesting!" Minus two.

    • C. 

      No.

  • 8. 
    Does the narrator or POV character hide critical information from readers just to “surprise” us? 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 9. 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 10. 
    Do many sentences start with empty interjections?  Some common offenders are well, you know, like, yeah, oh, umm, I mean and seriously. 
    • A. 

      Yeah... I mean, uhh, how could you avoid them, y'know? Seriously!

    • B. 

      No.

  • 11. 
    Do your characters use niceties or other polite filler?  For example, "can I get you a drink?" is a nicety.
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 12. 
    Do any of your characters have an apostrophe or a dash in their name?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 13. 
    Are any characters cryptic?  (For example, do they hide information for no reason except that you want the story to keep going?)  
    • A. 

      Yes, my story has a cryptic character.

    • B. 

      Yes, but it's OK because he's enigmatic, mysterious and cool. (Ick. Minus three).

    • C. 

      No.

  • 14. 
    Does your story have any Mary Sues?  (A Mary Sue is a superpowered and idealized version of the author.  One warning sign is that your main character goes through the book without doing anything you intend the audience to disapprove of.  Another warning sign is that the character tends to get everything right on her first try). 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 15. 
    Over the course of the book, does anyone disagree with or oppose your main character without coming off as nasty, evil or stupid? 
    • A. 

      No.

    • B. 

      No, because my main character is so heroic that you'd have to be evil or stupid to disagree with him. (Minus two!)

    • C. 

      Yes.

  • 16. 
    • A. 

      Sweet.

    • B. 

      Beautiful (or attractive or handsome).

    • C. 

      High-class.

    • D. 

      All three! It's like you're reading my mind.

    • E. 

      None of the above / the question isn't applicable.

  • 17. 
    (This question only applies if the main character gets romantically involved with someone).  Why does your hero fall in love with that character instead of someone else?
    • A. 

      Because (s)he is beautiful / handsome.

    • B. 

      Because (s)he is the important female (or male) character in the story.

    • C. 

      Because (s)he is royalty or high-class.

    • D. 

      All of the above. It's like you're reading my mind again!

    • E. 

      None of the above / not applicable.

  • 18. 
    Are any of the main characters the subject of a great prophecy?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 19. 
    Do you use any invented or foreign words when English equivalents are available?
    • A. 

      Yes, because it's dramatic to call Elven soldiers sjweu'pas. (Minus two!)

    • B. 

      Yes.

    • C. 

      No.

  • 20. 
    How many of the following things happen in your book?  1)  The main villain is NOT vanquished because you want to have the villain return in a sequel.  2)  The hero does NOT get the girl (or guy) because you want to resolve the romance in a sequel.  3)  The hero does NOT complete his main goal from this book because you want to resolve that in a sequel. 
    • A. 

      2 or 3.

    • B. 

      Fewer than 2.

  • 21. 
    • A. 

      Yes

    • B. 

      Yes, but it's not a problem. Everyone in the world knows the difference between a Wal-Mart and a Target. (Minus two!)

    • C. 

      No.

  • 22. 
    Do you use any made-up words in your title or opening paragraph?  (Some examples: Narnia, Muggle, Hogwarts, Voldemort and Aslan). 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 23. 
    Does your title consist of just one word?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 24. 
    Do your fight scenes ever last for more than 5 pages at a time?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 25. 
    Do your fight scenes ever include more than 4 combatants?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.

  • 26. 
    Do the dialogues in your story read like transcripts?  (If you're not sure, flip to a random dialogue in your story.  Do you neglect elements like body language, atmospherics, nonverbal cues, props and scenery?)
    • A. 

      Yes, it reads like a transcript.

    • B. 

      Yes, it *is* a transcript. (Minus two! It's never as clever as it seems).

    • C. 

      No.

  • 27. 
    Have you justified any answers on this test by saying that "but it worked for James Joyce!" or some other super-talented author? 
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      Yes. But Michael Crichton used one-word titles. I can, too! (Minus two).

    • C. 

      No.

  • 28. 
    Thesauruses are both useful and dangerous.  Does your book use any sentences like "John sashayed to the refrigerator to get some sustenance"? 
    • A. 

      Yes. What's wrong with "John sashayed to the refrigerator to get some sustenance"?

    • B. 

      I used a thesaurus, but I only picked words that had the right feel and connotation.

    • C. 

      No, I did not use a thesaurus.

  • 29. 
    Does your story use a mentor character that is either 1) preparing the main character(s) for a destined struggle or 2) a friendly surrogate father for the main character?
    • A. 

      Yes to one.

    • B. 

      Yes to both! Are you reading my mind again?

    • C. 

      No to both.

  • 30. 
    Do you overuse obscenities?  (If any of your sentences have 2+ obscenities, the answer is yes). 
    • A. 

      No.

    • B. 

      Yes.

    • C. 

      I'm a US Marine (minus two!)

  • 31. 
    Do you use any of the following characters in your book:  a cryptic mentor, an unassuming teenager destined for greatness, an elven maiden, or a ferocious barbarian?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      All of them!

    • C. 

      No.

  • 32. 
    At the start of the book, does the hero know who his real parents are?
    • A. 

      Yes.

    • B. 

      No.